Just when most thought the Braves might throw in the towel after the Ronald Acuña injury, Alex Anthopoulos dealt for Joc Pederson in early July. Atlanta parted ways with Bryce Ball in the deal, who had a promising start to his professional career, but he had been slumping in 2021. The Braves needed a boost to their outfield immediately, and Pederson has been a big part of that effort. Pederson, on paper, didn’t seem like a game-changing acquisition, but he’s been everything the Braves could have asked for… and then some.
Since arriving in Atlanta, the long-time Dodger has hit. 313 with a couple of homers and four doubles — good for an .831 OPS. Pederson also holds a nine-game hitting streak with five multi-hit games over that span. Since then, the Braves have gained 1.5 games on the division-leading Mets, and now, more reinforcements have arrived. Closer to the trade deadline, Alex Anthopoulos added four new names — Richard Rodriguez, Jorge Soler, Adam Duvall, and Eddie Rosario — three of which are outfielders. Brian Snitker now has an array of names to choose from when making his lineup card and a much more capable bench to turn to late in games. All of a sudden, it feels like the Braves can take a hold of a the NL East, and the jolt that Pederson has provided over the last three weeks is a big reason for that.
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